For years, the salary figures of senior staff at Mars Hill Church has been kept in secrecy. However, recently obtained by Warren Throckmorton, writing in Patheos and later by seattlepi.com, we learn that founding Senior Pastor Mark Driscoll was receiving a $500,000 annual salary package in 2013 from Mars Hill Church, when his executive pastor recommended that Driscoll receive a raise to $650,000 a year, according to church documents.
Mark Driscoll has been the Senior Pastor of Mars Hill Church, a mega-church with 13 congregations, until he resigned not too long ago, after a series of charges were brought before him. One of which was the alleged misappropriation of funds. After Driscoll's resignation, the church will formally dissolve at year's end. The church which had more than 12,000 worshipers a week to 15 "campuses" and had annual revenues of $30 million.
As of Oct. 1, 2011, Driscoll received a salary of $564,615, including a $200,000 a year housing allowance. The pastor's previous compensation package had been $267,500.
The church also contributed $33,000 a year to Driscoll's retirement, paid a $13,314 annual medical premium, put up $4,000 for the pastor's cell phone and provided an "additional wellness stipend" of $6,000. Driscoll was also provided a team of assistants, including a research assistant.
Furthermore, Driscoll was paid an average $17,000 for speeches to "leadership conferences at other mega-churches." The leadership conferences were also an opportunity to sell books. Throckmorton estimates that Driscoll received $400,000 book advances from Thomas Nelson, publisher of his book "Real Marriage."
However, there are those who claim that what Driscoll was making was somehow within the pay scale of what mega churches are paying their pastors. Nevertheless, it begs the question, can pastors of big churches be paid so much and still seek after the treasures of heaven?